Tadarian “TD” Moultry knows his Alabama football. The four-star linebacker can rattle off a slew of Crimson Tide defensive players from Landon Collins to Reuben Foster to Dont’a Hightower to C.J. Mosley that has made an impression on him.
He wears No. 26 for his high school team because of Collins. That’s the tradition UGA is up against as it grinds to snare the nation’s No. 8 inside linebacker from the state of Alabama.
Moultry (Jackson-Olin High School / Ensley, Ala.) visited UGA on Wednesday with his buddy Kenney Britt. Britt is a three-star prospect and the No. 24 inside linebacker in his own right.
Moultry’s interest in UGA is unique for an Alabama boy. Even if it does mirror the chances the program had with a pair of five-star linebackers, Ben Davis and Mack Wilson, in the Class of 2016. Davis and Wilson eventually both signed with the Crimson Tide.
“I don’t know why but I always liked Georgia growing up when I was younger,” Moultry said. “I didn’t even know too much about football because I had never played it, but I just know I always liked watching Georgia play on TV.”
The 6-foot-2 junior grew up an Alabama fan and watched that team a lot, but “also loved Georgia.”
Moultry said he and Britt (Oxford High School/ Oxford, Ala) are a package deal. Britt is a pure downhill inside linebacker. Moultry can play either inside or outside. They visited UGA together and now plan to visit Auburn together on Thursday. They plan to take most of, if not all, of their visits together.
The junior said UGA, Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss are standing out to the duo at this time. He did acknowledge that UGA, Auburn and Ole Miss offer the best chance for both of them to grab some early playing time.
Britt plans to commit first on Aug. 8. Moultry plans to commit the following day. He laughed when he was asked if that means everyone will know where he’s going when Britt names his school.
“Everyone is going to know then,” Moultry said. “I guess I will put it out on Twitter.”
He said they talk about their decisions every day. Moultry felt that UGA helped itself “a lot” with both linebackers this week.
“I know I want to visit Georgia again,” he said. “They have got some cool people up there and they have some real linebackers up there. I like their linebackers. They got about four of them who look like they are real solid from what I saw in practice.”
What did UGA coach Kirby Smart and preach to the boys on the trip?
“He said that we love both you guys here,” Moultry said. “He said we have got to have both of you. They said they know it is hard for Alabama linebackers to leave the state and not go to Alabama or Auburn, but he said we love you and we need you up here. Kirby said that me and Kenney (Britt) can be the first perfect package deal to leave the state and UGA has to get some linebackers. He said they were not going to stop recruiting us no matter what we do.”
Moultry said UGA was the first school to dangle the chance that he could play outside linebacker. He hopes to play both positions in college.
“I haven’t really built that real good relationship yet with Kirby but we are starting with it,” Moultry said. “Another thing he said was ‘I’m not going to stop until we get either you or K.J. and when he gets one of us the train is going to keep coming and he’ll end up with both of us.’ ”
He spent Wednesday night with the Britt family in Oxford after the UGA visit. Those two play high school ball about 80 miles apart from one another.
“I want to go back to Georgia and would be glad to go back,” Moultry said. “Not sure when because I haven’t been invited to come back yet.”
What did Britt think? Check out these tweets.
Great Visit today at UGA ??? #SicEm17
— Kj Britt (@K_Britt10) March 29, 2016
Got me thinking extra hard ???#Decisions
— Kj Britt (@K_Britt10) March 30, 2016
5 things to know about Moultry
- He did not play in either in his freshman or sophomore seasons. His first year on the varsity was as a junior. He was a 205-pound safety last fall. That experience in coverage will help him out in pass coverage when he’s at outside linebacker.
- He has the strength and has put on the weight to be a middle linebacker this fall. He weighed 227 at Georgia yesterday. His power clean is up to 315 pounds and he’s squatting 560. He’s been stopped there. “That enough,” his Jackson-Olin coach Tim Vakakes said. “That’s enough for a high school senior to squat. There’s no point to a senior in high school doing any more than that.”
— DaRon Arrington (@CoachArrington) March 17, 2016
- Check his highlight film. Look for the clip where he vaults “super high” from a teammate’s back to block an extra point. That’s illegal and drew a flag but that has been the one thing every college coach has asked him about. Watch that play. There is no question that he is a special athlete.
- He was invited to a Junior Day this spring but declined. His reason? He already had an offer from that team, but felt if he went to that school then they would not come visit his team for spring practice “He said I’d rather not go this time so they can come see me this spring at our practice and then they can see all my boys, too,” Vakakes said. “You don’t get that kind of thinking these days from high school kids. He wants all of his buddies to be seen by the colleges, too.”
- Each half of the “Alabama package” was set to go to UGA at different times, but credit the staff for noticing they plan to play together. They invited them both up for a tandem visit.
Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.